So the big question now is who actually replaces departing Ryan Kent. Rangers have had a stalwart left-winger now since summer 2018, and one thing we agree with Michael Beale on is the fans will remember Kent fondly, maybe not now while grievances with him are so high, but in the future.
See, replacing the forward isn’t going to be easy – he was injured barely once in his entire Rangers career, and his replacement during that period, Scott Wright, was painfully short by comparison. He simply wasn’t at Kent’s level.
So who now becomes Michael Beale’s go-to leftie?
Some suggest Tom Lawrence, but this is an unreliable answer. Lawrence does have top-level experience in football with his country, and did very well for Rangers in the Champions League qualifiers, but his Ibrox spell was short-lived and his return is not guaranteed to deliver the same player.
The longer he’s been out, the better he’s been getting, which is, of course, always the way. But maybe Lawrence is good enough? His stats are great, of course, he scored many more than Kent pro-rata, and his assists were impressive too, but he did lack pace and wasn’t a natural winger.
Rangers, at present, quite simply don’t have a single option to replace Kent. From the bygone days when left wing was absolutely teeming with options, it now has none.
Scott Wright isn’t up to it, and is more a utility forward than a pure left winger, while Lawrence’s main position is really attacking midfield. Fashion Sakala is a centre-forward, not a left winger, and there’s no one else.
In short, Michael Beale is going to have to replace Kent with a new signing, and a similar type of player.
Such a thing is not going to be easy to find, with wingers, and good ones at that, among the most expensive players there are.
But that’s what the summer budget is there for – we cannot just replace departing players with squad filler – we need to fill Kent’s void with someone of similar nature, calibre and talent, and while many fans currently believe Kent was a waster and no good, time will be kinder and show him to be a very very good LW who did Rangers a turn.
We need someone new who will rip your defence apart again. And those don’t grow on trees.